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Category Archives: For Older Kids

Forbidden Island: Keeping Your Friends Close

Although the illustrations on the game board are gorgeous, the true beauty of Forbidden Island by Gamewright is its focus on cooperation. Too many times, I’ve sat down with a group of friends to play a board game expecting a fun evening full of laughs just to have it devolve into childish taunting and name-calling. Players can finally come together ... Read More »

Balance, build, and strategize with games from Foxmind

Not since Blue Orange have I found a company with a suite of games that are all fresh, smart, fun, and great for all ages. Foxmind makes a group of solitaire, thinking, and spatial logic games. I opened 3 of the games at our Magic Beans store in Hingham today: Equilibrio, Zoologic, and Meta-Forms – and thoroughly distracted the staff ... Read More »

A whole new dimension for Set

I became a fan of the game Set during my senior year of high school when our college guidance counselors kept it on hand for distracting stressed-out students during free periods. Long after our letters had come, we still hung out in their basement office, playing that addictive game. If you’ve never played, Set is a wonderful game for children ... Read More »

Funkey Town

The latest entry into the virtual-toy-that’s-also-really-a-toy category is about to hit the market. Funkeys are quirky little vinyl creatures who come to life on your PC. Unlike Webkinz and other similar products, Funkeys is not web-based. It actually comes with a CD-ROM for your Windows PC, and a large Funkey docking station that plugs into your computer using a USB ... Read More »

Clek is here!

I loved this booster when I saw it at the JPMA show, and we’ve finally received our first shipment. Now that I’ve had a chance to spend some time with it, I’m particularly impressed with the padding on the seat. It is very thick and amazingly comfortable (I sat on it myself). I think it’s an ideal solution for carpoolers, ... Read More »

How Mao? Try Quao.

Fourteen summers ago, I came home from a teen tour obsessed with a card game I had learned — Mao. If you aren’t familiar with this diabolically fun game, Mao has no rules. Or at least, none that can be explained. But in this day and age, you can find everything on the internet, including a detailed explanation of Mao ... Read More »

Retro Cool

Look what’s back! The Snoopy Sno Cone Maker has been rereleased by Sababa Toys, and it’s exactly the product you and I remember so fondly. Originally released in 1979, this was a runaway bestseller and a summer fixture in millions of homes (mine included). If you never had one, basically you pop some ice cubes into a compartment at the ... Read More »

A-maze-ing

Let’s talk about marbles for a minute. Marbles are so simple, but they’ve been a cornerstone of playtime for centuries. Set them in motion and you’ve got hours of entertainment. There are countless types of marble run construction toys out there, and many different interpretations. The newest one is Q Ba Maze. This marble construction toy looks like a piece ... Read More »

Ty Girlz are here

I mentioned at Toy Fair that a lot of toy companies have been, ahem, inspired by the immense success of Webkinz to create their own plush toys with online tie-ins. How does the old adage go? Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? Well, I’m sure Ganz (the company behind Webkinz) isn’t exactly enjoying the compliment. But Webkinz have been ... Read More »